Health & Safety at work – Is your display screen set up properly?

Do you or your staff have a monitor they use regularly in your workplace? Did you know incorrect use can lead to lots of ongoing, long term health problems?

The most common ailment is RSI (repetitive strain injury) which is, essentially, pain pain in nerves and muscles caused by repetitive movement. In addition workers often complain about headaches, eye strain, back pain, stress, tendonitis, carpal tunnel syndrome and more! All of these things can have long term impact on your staff including time off work, stress and mental health problems.

There are a number of rules and regulations put in place by HSE in regards to display screen equipment. Are you aware of them all?

A full risk assessment MUST take place for each employee using a workstation taking into consideration the following:

  • That suitable chairs are provided. Chairs must be adjustable height and the employee must be able to sit with their knees level with their hips and their feet flat on the floor. Sometimes a footrest may be needed for this.
  • The screen should be directly in front of the operator. A good guide is to place the screen about an arm’s length away, with the top of the screen roughly at eye level.
  • The keyboard should be directly in front of the user when typing, with a gap of about four to six inches (100mm-150mm) at the front of the desk so that it is possible to rest the wrists between bouts of typing.
  •  Regular screen breaks also help to combat work related stress
  • Free eye examinations for those identified as DSE users (ie. those using the equipment as a major part of their work, consistently for more than an hour every day) must be provided on request.
  • The screen should be as glare-free as possible.

Full details can be found on the HSE website.

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